This post is a continuation of the 2015 New Beer Every Day Beer Diary Challenge, #ottbeerdiary. Over the course of 2015, I drank at least one new beer every day. Please read the background in the link above, and enjoy reading about the most recently tasted beers below. This year I may deviate from the diary format in some posts, hoping to concentrate more on the locations and the breweries I am enjoying. If you’d like to join the challenge as well, let me know in the comments below. You can catch up on all of our posts as part of the challenge under the tag ottbeerdiary.
Day 381: January 16, 2016
A quiet morning, catching up on some photo editing, and preparing for the afternoon trip up to Amsterdam to attend the Amsterdams Bierfeest. The festival starts at 4PM, but I’m hoping to get up there a little early to have a pre-beer or two and some food before arriving for the 4PM opening. After the experience in the summer at the Rotterdam beer festival, I have a feeling this will be another event that gets very busy later, so I want to be there for the start.
I made use of one of my 15-euro NS day passes to head up to the city around noon, and made a first stop at one of the better beer bars in town, and the one closest to the Centraal Station – Bierproeflokaal In de Wildeman. They always have an excellent selection of beers on cask and draft. In fact, I’ve never even touched their bottle selection yet, as there’s always been enough new for me on draft! Today was no exception.
Heartless by Redwillow Brewery – 4.9% Stout – Chocolate aroma. Nice chocolate in the flavor. Some coffee. A little watery though.
Coconut Grove by Dugges Bryggeri – 4.5% Sour Ale – Funky aroma. Tropical fruit mixed with the sour. Well blended flavors, lingering together on the aftertaste.
Hoppy Stout by Brouwerij Pampus – 6.3% Black IPA – Looks like a stout, in beer color and head color. But all hops in aroma and flavor. A wee bit of malt, but the hops rule for sure. Nice!
That was enough for a first stop, so time to start heading up towards the festival location, either a long walk or a tram ride away. I feared that if I didn’t take the tram at least part of the way, I’d never make it, as the route from the Wildeman to the hotel would take me directly past almost every major beer bar in town. But I did compromise and take the tram only around 2/3 of the way there, getting off just before Gollem’s Proeflokaal, where I stopped for one more beer and a quick bite.
Zware Piet Bok by Erik’s Bier Amsterdam – 7.7% Bock – Decent sweetness, not overpoweringly sweet. A good base underneath. A hint of speculoos. This is a pretty good bokbier!
At this point, it was 3:45, and I’m around a 15-minute walk from the hotel, so I hoof it the rest of the way, and arrive just as the doors are opening. No line to speak of for my Strippenkaart, so I purchase my ticket, drop off my coat and bag, and order my first beer just as my friend Guido messages me that he has arrived. Perfect timing!
There were two options for beers at the festival – Tokens, which you use for a full bottle or taste of any beer the brewers brought with them, or a strip card which entitles you to a taster from each of the nine breweries present. My goal at such an event is to try every brewer, and I wasn’t sure I’d be going more past nine more beers today, after having four already, so I went for the Strippenkaart. Which I found to be an excellent idea!
I have to say, I was very impressed with the line-up of breweries and the selections they brought. A lot of great local beers. And that includes the two Amsterdam brewers from earlier that weren’t at the festival (Pampus and Erik’s.) And there are still other Amsterdam breweries, such as t’Ij that were not at the festival or tried during the day. Quite a line-up of Amsterdam breweries these days!
IJsbeer by Gebrouwen Door Vrouwen – 6% Dunkelweizen with winter herbs – Lovely spices, and nice fruity flavors. This is really good!
Lipreader by Butcher’s Tears – 7% Winter Warmer – Nice spice. Good flavor. Nice winter beer.
Château Des Liaison by Oedipus Brewing – 5.5% Sour Ale – More malty than most sours. A bit watery. It’s ok. But not one I’d go back to. This beer tastes like fish sauce. Collaboration with Brouwerij Maximus. Red Sour Ale aged on oak.
Chocenbrouwer by bru’d – 5.5% Porter – Quite a nice Porter. Some cocoa. Some coffee. Some bitter. Quite tasty. Brambling Cross, Hallertauer Mittelfrüh, Citra and Cascade hops. Peruvian cocoa nibs.
Scotch Ale by Brouwerij de Prael – 7.7% Scotch Ale with smoked malts and Weizen yeast – Nice herbal spice. Better than I expected it to be!
Dubbelbock by Zeeburg – 8.2% Doppelbock – Too sweet for my taste.
Rtuss + In by Brouwerij De 7 Deugden – 7% Somewhere between a Stout and a Dubbel – Pretty nice Stout/Dubbel.
Howling Wolf by Two Chefs Brewing – 8% Imperial Porter – Lovely. An enjoyable Porter.
It was not an easy choice for the best of the fest, but luckily one did stand out…
Name: Quadrupel Poorter
Style: Imperial Porter
Producer: Brouwerij Kleiburg
Alcohol content: 10.7%
Bottle size: 0.33 l
Purchased from: Amsterdams Bierfeest at the Conscious Hotel Vondelpark in Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Quadrupel Poorter by Brouwerij Kleiburg. One of the best beers I tried today at the Amsterdams Bierfeest at Conscious Hotels in Amsterdam. Nine Amsterdam Brewers, all of them bringing their A-game. This is really an excellent Porter. Quite delicious. Nice mix of dark, bitter, and sweet.